What is the difference between the Beretta 686 SPi and 687 SPiii?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Quinton, Nov 20, 2016.

  1. Quinton

    Quinton AH Member

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    Hi all.

    I am currently in the market for a new O/U shotgun for clays and wing shooting and have narrowed my search down to the Beretta Silver Pigeon series.

    When I set off to gun shop to check out, I was under the impression that the SPi would be all I ever needed, until I lay my eyes on the SPiii and handled it. Now, if the SPiii was simply better looking, I would've happily going for the more modestly-priced sibling, but alas, the SPiii handled even better!

    The guy at the shop said that it was down to the cast-off on the more expensive model. That explains the handling.

    From what I can gather, both are built on exactly the same action, but considering that SPiii costs almost twice as much as the SPi, surely there must be other differences as well? Both are field models, SPi sports a 28" barrel, the SPiii has 30".

    The Beretta website isn't exactly the most helpful in pointing out the real differences between the two. In fact, the website mentions nothing of cast and claim they are the same gun with different wood and finishes.

    Does anyone know more?

    I look forward to your replies.
     

  2. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Three things: Wood quality, recoil pad and engraving gets more elaborate as you increase $.
    On the lower end they actually started forging the "engraving" on the frame. Ugly.
    With the 686 they added the same fore end shape as the 687.
    The onyx has the gloss finish :E Sick:
    Never heard of the cast being an option or a design.

    It appears they have stream lined the factory. One size fits all.

    beretta guns.jpg
     

  3. Quinton

    Quinton AH Member

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    Thanks for that, Brickburn. This definitely helps to see the chart.

    Perhaps it was the recoil pad's size and shape that made it mount differently. Or maybe I thought it "should" feel better because it's double the price? Or would the difference between 28" and 30" have been that discernible? The wood and chequering was definitely VERY nice and the engraving tasteful on the SPiii.

    Then again, for the price I think I can do a lot worse than the SPi. I'll go back next week for a third visit and make up my mind and interrogate the mention of "cast".

    Do you own or have you ever shot any one of these? Does anyone here own either of the above? What are you thoughts about the line in general?
     

  4. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    I shoot 687 silver pigeons.
    That is as pretty as I need in the field
    Or at the sporting clays range.
    Some folks don't like how light they are.
     
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  5. Quinton

    Quinton AH Member

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    Awesome. It looks like the Wingmaster is getting a friend soon.
     

  6. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Fanatic

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    Stocks can be bent to fit you. Unless you like the more expensive one, getting a fitting and having the stock adjusted to fit you properly may be the more cost-effective option, as well as probably giving you a better-fitting gun in the end.
     

  7. Quinton

    Quinton AH Member

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    Thanks Bert. That's exactly what I'm trying to establish.

    If the metal parts are all the same in terms of function and durability, the often-silenced, sensible voice in my brain tells me to be a little more frugal and have some money left over for another purchase or hunt. But I don't really like that voice very much.

    And I thought it was going to be a simple transaction until I saw and handled the nicer gun. The prettier gun felt better.
     

  8. Mekaniks

    Mekaniks GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I shoot a 686 silver pigeon with 28in barrels and love it. Not the fanciest wood, but it is a real work horse. It has never missed a beat. I bought it after "trying on" all of the competitors guns and the 686 fit me and felt the best. I really like the 687 but couldn't justify the additional $1500.00. Someday when I am rich and famous and need to spend some extra $$ I may upgrade the wood. Until then, it's my go to everyday shooter.

    Anyway, I think both are great shotguns and you will be happy with either one. Many here will tell you not to choose and just go buy both. Problem solved:sneaky::whistle:
     

  9. Quinton

    Quinton AH Member

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    That's good to hear.

    I'll take the drive over in a week and see if sense prevails.

    Buy both? I can really motivate for myself why it's a good idea, but I fear for the cardiovascular health of the chap at the firearms registery if I were to submit two applications for essentially the same gun at once.
    I'm considerate like that.

    Thanks for the replies, chaps.
     
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  10. Quinton

    Quinton AH Member

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    And done. I bought the SPiii today. I nearly backed out of buying anything after a salesman tried to sell me a Browning S1 B725 instead. After much consideration the emotional decision remained with the Italian lass. Thanks for the help, guys.
     

  11. Ernie Shipman

    Ernie Shipman AH Veteran

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    I hope your grandkids like it, cause it will certainly last several generations!
     
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  12. Quinton

    Quinton AH Member

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    Ernie, I'll have to start making their parents first. :)

    Thanks for that.
     

  13. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I loved my Onyx. Only sold because a good friend's daughter wanted it. Fit her perfectly and it is a laser in her hands. I took her pheasant hunting for the first time and let her use it. Shot killed everything she pointed it at!
    3" magnums do hurt because it is so light for a twelve. I shot thousands of rounds and it never failed. Easy to maintain.
    I would suggest the 30" barrel unless you are very short. As light as it is, it can use barrel length to slow/smooth the swing a little.
    Best in your decision!
     

  14. Quinton

    Quinton AH Member

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    Thanks Ridegwalker. I took the leap and bought the Silver Pigeon iii, 30" a few weeks ago just before I left for the holidays an extended business trip in Namibia. It was a perfect fit. I'll sort out the tedious licensing process when I get back to South Africa in February.

    You're a good man for selling that Onyx to a young shooter.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017

  15. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Great! So can I borrow it if I come to Cape Town...tee hee...I'm bad!
     

  16. DM Shooting

    DM Shooting AH Veteran

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    All the 68 series actions are the same sp1 -5 686 682 eell etc all use the same parts inside some guns are bulit in the custom house so have more/better hand finishing of those same parts. The rest is all cosmetic.

    Now there is tollerances in the stock dimensions so some will have more cast either way and more or less drop but are all classed within tolerance as Field Sporter or Trap.

    My advice is to buy the one you want and have it fitted properly.
     
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  17. Quinton

    Quinton AH Member

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    Ridgewalker , I never turn down a chance to shoot. @DM, having the gun measured at the range is part of the deal. I went back three times to check out the gun before I finally purchased it, and it was by far the best fitting gun out of the 5 I tried. The Browning was very nice too, but the SPiii just felt right.
     
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  18. DM Shooting

    DM Shooting AH Veteran

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    Gun fitting needs a try gun the dimensions at developed on the full adjustable try gun then measured, that then tells you what needs to be applied to your gun be it custom built or adjusting a factory build gun.
     
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